everyone who uses a web browser also makes use of their
"Favorites" or "Bookmarks" function.
I'm not sure what your Favorites list looks
like, but mine contain hundreds of entries. It can be
quite difficult to find what I'm looking for. Also,
on many occasions when I come across a site of interest,
I forget to add it to my Favorites - and I guess I'm
not the only one.
Getting people to your site for their first
visit is one challenge - getting them to remember your
site and return is another. This tutorial will help
you make the most of these standard browser features
for marketing your own web site and to really stand
out from the rest.
How to create a Favorites icon
If you have ever visited sites such as Yahoo
and added them as a favorite, you would have noticed
that the icon is very different to other bookmarks in
your list. This is a very simple feature to implement.
Special Note: Some hosting services
don't support Favorites icons. I discovered this when
we moved from one server to another. We had been using
an icon for a couple of years and it was only when I
went to update this tutorial that I realized our Favorites
icon was no longer functioning. If this should occur
to you, contact your web host and ask them to enable
.ico support. If they don't/won't/can't; there is a
workaround you can use below.
Creating your own Favorites icon.
Create a new image 16x16 pixels in your
favorite graphics program.
Drop the number of colors on the palette
Create your graphic (okay, I know-16x16
pixels doesn't give you much room to be creative!)
Save it as a gif.
Then, use an image viewer such as Irfan View (freeware)
that has the capability of converting image files to
the .ico format.
After opening the gif file in Irfan View,
save it as favicon.ico in the root directory of your
web and publish to your server. Then test it out by
adding your site to your Favorites. It should work regardless
of the page you are on. Done!
Use a dedicated icon editor program.
If you need an icon editor, you can download a great
freeware program called IconEdit 32 here.
IconEdit32 allows you to create, import,
edit, and save 16X16, 32X32, and 48X48 icons in 2, 16,
or 256 colors.
Go to "File", select "New"
Got to "Images", select 16x16, 16 color
Create your icon
Save it to the root directory of your
web as favicon.ico
Then publish the file to your server.. that's
all there is to it. Test it out by going to your site
and adding it to your Bookmarks/Favorites. The file
size is very small, so it won't annoy your visitors.
In the unlikely event that your hosting
service doesn't support .ico files; you can use this
workaround - just put a copy of the favicon on a different
server - perhaps the free space that you usually get
with a standard ISP account. Then, add the following
tag between the <head> and </head> files
of your pages:
<link rel="shortcut icon" HREF="http://www.domain.com/favicon.ico">
... with domain.com point to the alternate
location of the Favorites icon file.
Creating a bookmarking script
Now you have your very own Favorites icon,
you'll also want to encourage people to add you to their
bookmarks. Even though adding a site to a bookmarks/Favrouties
list, is a very simple task, people need to be prompted
at times - and the best way to get them to add you is
to make it as *easy* as possible for them to do so by
creating "bookmark me now" type links place strategically
throughout your content.
Here's a simple script you can use complete
with instructions - it allows you to customize the text
that will appear in the bookmark description.
This script should work well in most Netscape and Internet
Explorer browsers from version 4 onwards.
In this script:
- When Netscape is detected, it only displays a message
suggesting that the visitor uses the Ctrl+D command
to bookmark the page.
- In Internet Explorer, it will add your homepage to
this visitor's "Favorites" from any page in the site
- along with a custom description you specify in the
display the suggestion to bookmark (no keyboard commands
as this can vary browser to browser).
These strategies really do work and definitely worthwhile
using as part of your overall web marketing arsenal.
Taming the Beast
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